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POPPY APPEAL: ‘It’s reassuring to know help is there’
DOUBLE amputee Craig Winspear proudly wears a poppy to honour those who, like him, have put their lives on the line for their country.
Private Winspear, 30, lost his legs in Afghanistan in December 2011 when while following a wire from a Taliban bomb, his foot slipped and he stepped on a hidden explosive device.
Pte Winspear, of Bicester’s 23 Pioneer Regiment, woke at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, a week later to learn his life would never be the same again.
Less than a year later, he and partner Hayley Willson are set to move into a newly-adapted home in Bicester to start a new life.
But there wil be many challenges and, in the coming months, they will turn to the Royal British Legion for help.
Pte Winspear said: “Help with the garden, and things like buying new carpets could be things they could help us with. It is reassuring to know that the RBL is there for us.”
While he remains a member of the Army, Pte Winspear will eventually be given a medical discharge and have to rely on his Army pension.
He continued: “Hayley has had to give up her busy job as a project manager to help me since I was injured.
“But we have plans. I’m going to take some courses in plastering and bricklaying, and eventually set up my own company. The RBL could even help me with that. That’s why it is so important for people to support the Poppy Appeal.
“The RBL does so much good and helps so many people.”
Ms Willson, 32, said: “I remember last year, a veteran came to our house selling poppies and it really struck a chord with me because Craig was in Afghanistan.
“We talked about what was happening over there and I told him about Craig and gave a bigger donation than I had for a poppy before.
“Then about a month later Craig was injured.
“Now the Poppy Appeal means even more to us and our families.
“We would encourage everyone to wear a poppy this year and help the RBL continue its great work.”
RBL county chairman Jim Lewendon, 83, said: “Craig Winspear is the epitome of what the Poppy Appeal stands for.
“I am humbled by his courage and determination and know that we will be there for him all the way, as soon as he is ready, and for as long as he needs.”